Going To The Bar? Then Leave Your Kids At Home!

Thank you for having children and insuring the survival of the human race.

I'd really appreciate if you left them at home when you go out to the bar.

Yes the bar.  Not the family restaurant, not a regular restaurant with adult beverages but the bar.

Clearly some parents today have no problem taking their babies, toddlers, tweens and teens into a drinking establishment.  The bad part about that is they're taking them to where I like to go and I couldn't be more pissed off.

I am liberal about most things.  Children in a bar---or even worse---sitting at a bar is not one of them.

I like your kids.  They're adorable, funny and super cute.  I understand why you keep them around.

But there is something profoundly disturbing about sitting next to little Chad & Caitlin because Mommy and/or Daddy needed a drink so bad they have to drag the kids in with them.

It's a bar, not Disneyland.  Your children do not need to see or hear me and my bar friends engaging in adult behavior with alcoholic beverages.

There's a reason why they have a legal drinking age.

And here's the thing---I don't blame your children when they have a temper tantrum because they're out beyond their normal nap time or bedtime, I blame you.

When your toddler won't sit still or wants to stretch out on a banquette like they're on the couch at home, I don't blame them---I blame you.

I don't bring my bar friends to your house to drink, why are you bringing your children to the bar?

Get a sitter.


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  • Feel free to bring your bar friends to my house to drink.

  • Wow! I don't even take my kids to the liquor store with me.

  • This came up about 20 years ago, basically when there wasn't anywhere else to take the kids to get some food in Calumet City except in a tavern.(Probably could add in other neighborhoods, such as Bridgeport.) I wouldn't think that Barnaby's was much different, but apparently there is a difference between establishments that get more or less than 50% of their business from selling food compared to alcohol. You allude to same when you mention "Yes the bar. Not the family restaurant, not a regular restaurant with adult beverages but the bar."

    Homer usually doesn't take Bart and Lisa to Moe's.

    On the other hand, since you are in Woodlawn, apparently there are greater risks to taking the kids to the tavern, or even the dollar store, according to last night's news.

  • First of all, great blog, I wish that I had thought of it first!
    Parents seem to think that just because they love and enjoy being around their kid that everyone else does too. Not true! When I am out drinking, I don't want to have to alter my language or my topic of conversation because there is a kid in the room. Note to parents: Skip two or three bar outings and save that money to pay for a babysitter.

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    We JUST covered this same issue here in Richmond. I don't know WHAT is the matter with parents these days. Your kids are not your friends, they are your CHILDREN. Please parent them, not hang out with them.

  • agree 100%%%%.. and don't bring your dogs either! Just sayin...

  • Can I just say, also leave the toddlers home when you go to R-rated movies?

  • Thank you!!!! I was out a few weeks ago at 11 at night and there were kids in the bar!!! Not a restaurant, a bar. I don't understand who thinks that's okay!

    And Julie, I completely agree. I was at a horror movie and these people brought their kids.

  • In reply to Chicago Quirk:

    Strikes me that any sensible parent should agree with you. However. what do we do when "sensible" gets translated into "doable?" Doability will always be less complicated then sensibility. I've been advised to "get with the times." Trouble is, the times have meant the mantra: "What the hell, why not...!"

  • I find this sort of funny. When I was growing up my parents were very active in the VFW. My siblings and cousins were always at the VFW for some meeting or another and there were only two spaces available to do anything. One was the room where they held the meetings and the other was the bar downstairs. Guess where we always hung out? Yep.

    I consider it a valuable part of my education. There was usually a few WWII guys down there who didn't want any part of the meeting either and they would swap stories about "how things used to be", and whine about the hippys. My older brother was always getting teased about when he was going to enlist. I wouldn't trade those days for anything.

    I think, as with most parenting issues, this is just a matter of common sense. There are taverns that are family friendly, but there's no excuse for letting a kid sit at the bar (for some reason I think there's a legal issue there), or being out past 8 or 9.

  • In reply to CodyJarrett:

    While VFW's & other fraternal lodges did have bars, their main (legal) goal wasn't to serve liquor. Meetings were held. Lord, how many of us grew up on potlucks at a lodge? While drinking went on, it was a family of sorts. No one got super crazy around the kids and if they did, in my little world it either didn't happen again or the kids didn't come back. So while the VFW did serve liquor, they weren't a bar. In my mind, a HUGE difference from what I've seen going on in the past few years.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    With all due respect Mr. Wonder, I don't think we hung out at the same VFW. The one of which I speak is in Chicago Ridge at 105th and Ridgeland and yeah, downstairs was a bar. I haven't been in there in probably 30 years, so I can't speak to current conditions, but back then they were open to the neighborhood, you didn't have to be a Vet to get in (but I think most people were).

    In your column you say: "Not the family restaurant, not a regular restaurant with adult beverages but the bar." In my world there are plenty of places on the spectrum between "family restaurant" and "bar". What's "Goose Island"? I don't think it's a "family restaurant" or a "bar", but there's a restaurant and a bar there and I don't have any problem taking my kids there for lunch or dinner (again, there is such a thing as bed time).

    I don't want to get into trying to make fine line distinctions, because I agree with your basic point that there are some places kids don't belong. I also think there are times when a tavern is just fine.

  • WW, Even in Chicago, isn't that illegal? When I was a kid, we couldn't even peek inside a bar, even with the door open! To "Jack"...dude, you live in Chicago, yes? Violence is a part of city life and no matter what neighborhood you live in, crime is going to happen. Stop trying to imply that it's only in Woodlawn. Especially if you actually live in Calumet City!

  • Two quick comments: I'm not 100% sure, but I think everywhere in Illinois has laws against children sitting at the actual bar. Feel free to point it out to the bartender if you ever see that.

    I would guess people who bring their kids to the bar would not care about your language and what your friends do. The truth is, there are plenty of places where language is an issue at "family friendly" places (sporting events, for example). I'd feel better about taking my kid to some bars, vs. a Bears or Blackhawks game.

  • There is a continuum of places on the line between restaurant and bar. And dead flat in the middle of that continuum is the English-style Pub.To me, that would be the limit of where I'd be willing to bring children. But YMMV.

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